Encouraging our children to learn through lockdown has been a challenging process. From online lessons to socially distanced picnic meet ups – we have tried it all! Listening to their needs, we’ve discovered that writing prompts are not enough. Temptation has turned most children to televisions, social media and gaming instead of learning, writing and creating. We have had to do more with our sessions to capture their attention and keep them enthused. Here is what we have done to provide our young writers with enough inspiration to keep writing…Continue reading “Young Writers Want More!”
Scat the Black Cat returns!
After a wobbly start to Scat’s re-launch, thanks to C19, Scat has finally found firm footing for his return. Ready to face his readers with a new cover and a revised version of his book, this wily feline feels confident that more children will enjoy his fabulous tale.
Bullying affects everyone. It’s not easy to overcome the sense of helplessness you feel when you are bullied by someone. Nor is it easy to understand that some bullies have their own terrible tales to tell. Scat follows the path of vengeance against his bully but soon learns that there are consequences to every action.
Watch Scat’s story here and share it with your family and friends.
What would you do if you were Scat?
Order your copy of Scat the Black Cat here.
The Bracknell Forest Library Service are loading new videos of books read by their authors for your enjoyment during lockdown. I was lucky enough to be included in their line up with my book, Space Dust. If you recall, this little adventure was written for the Library Service during last year’s Summer Reading Challenge.
Writing a book is one thing; recording it without my comical faces or extreme hand gestures was near to impossible! Add to that the intermittent sounds of Millie, our dog, joining in the recording and you have a video of Space Dust.
If you’d listen to watch the story, click on the pic below:
If you’d like to buy your own copy, paperback or ebook, click on the pic below:
Book Review of Space Dust
I’m thrilled to receive a review for my latest children’s book, Space Dust. After receiving a fantastic response from the families that attended the Summer Reading Challenge at the Bracknell Forest Libraries, it is a pleasure to share more of my readers’ points of view of the book.
Here is what Lance Mitchell had to say about Space Dust:
15 September 2019
This is a delightful little story with massive appeal to the 4-11 year-old age group. You will enjoy reading the adventures of Big Ox and Little One to your youngsters. As they learn to read, I am sure that they will enjoy reading the story back to you.The beginning of the story is rather sad. Little One’s mummy has left the house without any explanation or “Goodbye.” Understandably, Little One is upset but Big Ox soon comes up with a scheme to pick them both up. He invites Little One to travel into space in his special canoe which he paddles with is “absolute favourite spoon.”They visit Venus, calling out to Little One’s mummy along the way. Maybe they’ll find her. Maybe they won’t. But they’ll see lots along the way and much silliness is guaranteed.The book is beautifully illustrated by the author. I liked the rhythm and the rhyme and the flow. You’ll almost be able to sing your way through the story with your children or grandchildren and I am sure that you will all be as happy as Little One when it’s time for bed.Having enjoyed Space Dust, I am left excited at the prospect that the story leaves me anticipating the pair’s next adventure. There is much promise of a lot more to come. I can’t wait!
Snotty Norman and Spotty Sally Find Fame
Living through the pranks and big personalities at Arden White Primary School was pretty tough but starting secondary school and finding out secrets about your form tutor on your first day can be life threatening! Snotty Normal and Spotty Sally are thrown together as they uncover a secret that could expose the awful things teachers do to naughty students. Who can they trust to help them tell the truth about Evelyn Winsborough Academy?
Here’s a little snippet from my first draft:
The ear-piercing sound of the first period bell resounded across the school, instigating a stampede of footsteps to the next class. The new year 7’s tentatively got up and followed Mrs Whitby to the door. Organised chaos awaited them outside. Shoals of students swam by, blotting out the view of the quad and the fountain. One by one, the year 7’s disappeared into the fray, pushing towards their next class and hoping for a gap in the crowd to actually make it there. Signs pointed each newbie in the right direction and within three minutes, the quad was clear, the corridors empty and an eerie silence replaced the noise of just a few seconds before. Snotty Norman sniffled next to Spotty Sally; both looked confused and afraid. They had missed their chance. All the other students had listened to Mrs Whitby’s boring chat about where to go and what to do next. They had not.
The school looked overwhelmingly big and daunting. Where was Geography Class 7T? Without knowing it, without feeling it, Norman and Sally edged closer to each other, feeling the comfort of having someone else just as daft as the other. What were they going to do?
Cecil and Miranda’s Young Reviewers
Working as a junior school librarian has given me the opportunity to see first-hand, how my books affect their readers. Young readers don’t get an opportunity to write book reviews for titles they’ve enjoyed unless it is in-house, that is, in their classroom or school library. I like to encourage my students to share their views with each other by offering up a suggestion box in our library which is filled with book titles chosen by my young readers. I’m happy to add Spoilt Miranda and Cecil the Bully have made the cut!
When discussing books, I get a lot of feedback from my younger readers that Spoilt Miranda is strange and takes the younger reviewer on a confusing journey of dreams before she resolves her situation. My older customers get it though and enjoy the ride. Sometimes scary, sometimes thrilling, the idea of Spoilt Miranda is controversial and encourages discussion on how her silly behaviour could have been dealt with in a better manner. I like this because it makes the reader think further than just the story.
Cecil, on the other hand, encourages my readers of any age to think of what steps they would take to sort out a bully. From standing up to him or joining his ranks, there are always amusing points of view. The slapstick comedy goes down a treat and adds to the entertainment factor of the book, according to the young reviewers. This is something to consider when I write the next sequel to the Arden White Primary School students.
Give or take the marmite reflections on my books by the young students at my school, I’m pleased to share the news that they are mostly enjoyed and well read. It gives me great pleasure to see this and I do hope more children are enjoying my books around the world.
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Thanks for reading and good luck!
The pungent smell of rot permeated the air as footsteps echoed through the forest. Hairs rose on their tiny arms and legs as the bushes rustled to their right. The sound drew closer; their footsteps quickened. No point in running; the roots were a trip hazard and judging by the heavy odour, a swamp was close at hand.
Suddenly, the torchlight dimmed and went out leaving a yawning darkness ready to swallow them whole. Soft whimpers escaped their lips as they waited for their eyes to acclimatise to the inky blackness staining their retinas. All the while the rustling edged ever closer, shaking and snapping the undergrowth with a vengeance.
Just as the shadows and silhouettes became distinguishable against the purple hued sky, the creature broke free from the bushes. Screams pierced the night followed by running, tripping, crying figures. The odd shape gave chase, closing the distance with ease.
Flash! Another torch punctured the dark, exposing the two figures cowering next to the redwood with moss tinted bark. Big brown eyes looked up at the adult looming over them.
“That’s quite enough for one night, Izzy and Zach,” sighed their mother. “You’ve excited the dog and now he smells like the swamp. It’s time to go home.”
“Aww, mum please,” they cried. “Just one more game of hide and seek and then we will call it a night. Please?”
Her shadow panned across the tree line and shrubs as she turned to find the smelly beast wagging his tail, waiting for the command to hide in the undergrowth again. She smiled, her teeth glinting in the sparse light.
“Fine. I’ll count but no more screaming as if the devil is out to get you! Ready?”
Eager little heads bobbed up and down before disappearing back into the darkness.
A voice called,”One…two…three..!”
Two figures scrambled in the dark, their bodies pumped with adrenaline as their breath came in gasps. This was the best game of hide and seek ever!
It is with huge excitement I announce the arrival of Spoilt Miranda in audio format. The wonderful, talented and incredibly kind Kate Shrewsday has helped me create a version of Miranda that is easy to download and enjoy at bedtimes or on the road – perfect for driving to the Dorset coast where Miranda goes on holiday with her parents and siblings!
After Googling Spoilt Miranda to see how many sites have picked up on her, I discovered a new site called takealot.com which is offering Miranda at R21 in South Africa. It’s strange to think that someone will be purchasing Spoilt Miranda close to where I came from! How fantastic is that? The most surprising place I’ve found Miranda is listed on Ebay through a variety of sellers.
A massive thank you to all who have purchased Spoilt Miranda. Please, don’t forget to leave your review of the book from your point of purchase. Thank you.
Readers’ Favourite have given Spoilt Miranda 5 stars. Here’s their review of the book:
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite
Spoilt Miranda by Eloise De Sousa revolves around Miranda and her tantrums that are driving her family mad. Miranda is a spoilt and sulky child, unlike her brothers and sisters. Her parents found it embarrassing to take her anywhere with them because she would sulk and pout – she thought no one could touch her, including the policewoman who comes to check on her. The family goes to Aunt Joan’s beach house on the Dorset coast for their summer family holiday. Miranda continues with her usual behavior, but for once Miranda finds herself on the other end of tantrums. She finds it surprising at first, and scowls and pouts to no avail. Will she realize her mistakes and change for the better? Or will she still be the same incorrigible Miranda?
It is a good story that tells kids about the disadvantages of being a problematic child and how one person’s tantrums can spoil everything for the other siblings in the family. The changes that come about in Miranda during their summer vacation are indeed inspirational for kids to rectify their behavior. The illustrations are good and they give a personality to Miranda and the rest of the characters in the story. Miranda’s character is relatable since many parents have kids like Miranda. It is a peppy story that kids will enjoy reading. Miranda and her dreams tell us how kids make a scary place for themselves. The terrible tantrums, summer holidays and the kids make this book a wonderful read.
Next in the series is Cecil The Bully. Order your copy here.